Foreign Buyers of Cambodian Goods See Risk in Looming Trade Sanctions

Foreign importers of Cambodian textiles and footwear voiced concern in a letter this week that threatened European and U.S. sanctions over human rights violations may disrupt trade preferences supporting the country’s economy.

Writing in a May 2 letter addressed to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, the companies—including among others Nike, Gap Inc., and Levi Strauss—urged government action to address international criticisms of its rights record.

“We are concerned that the labor and human rights situation in Cambodia is posing a risk to trade preferences for Cambodia,” the letter’s signers said, pointing to what they called a “declining respect for labor standards, including freedom of association, and other issues” in the Southeast Asian country.

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